...Battle for selection will make team stronger, says skipper
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo said competition in the squad augurs well for better performances, following their 203-run lopsided victory over New Zealand in the fifth and final One Day International (ODI), yesterday.
Kieran Powell, who opened in place of the injured Chris Gayle, slammed 73 off 44 balls, while Kirk Edwards, who also came into the XI after a spate of injuries, hit his maiden ODI ton.
Bravo, who scored his second ODI century, attributed total team effort to West Indies handing New Zealand their second-biggest ODI defeat.
“I can’t single out anyone, it was a great team effort,” said Bravo.
“We always want this competition. The coach says that we should make more options available. This will put us in a great position.”
The West Indies win, which drew the series two games each, follows poor performances in back to back losses against New Zealand, and after coach Ottis Gibson had expressed disappointment in the replacement players.
Gibson had accused the players of failing to grab the opportunities in the absence of the injured first-choice players, saying it was the reason West Indies found themselves 2-1 down after winning the first game of the series.
New Zealand were shot out for 160 runs, in reply to the West Indies’ mammoth 363 for four.
“[The openers Johnson] Charles and Powell were going through a tough time, but it was important me and the coach backed them,” Bravo said. “They have done great things for us in the past, and the way Powell started put pressure on New Zealand straightaway. Then Edwards came in at No. 3, under pressure, and took the opportunity by getting a maiden century.” –CMC